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Environmental impact assessment - EIA

- the examination of the likely effects of a development on the environment. It originated from an EC directive of June 1985 which required governments to introduce the necessary legislation within three years. The original thought behind EIA was to curb polluting effects and EIA tended to be associated with greenfield sites. Increasingly however environmental statements are being required for developments in urban areas where the likely effects on cultural heritage such as archaeological remains and other human artifacts is a consideration.